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Slice Modeler SketchUp Plugin Directions 



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Slice Modeler SketchUp Plugin 



Directions 



Written By: Marc 



SUMMARY 



I demonstrate how to transfer a file from SketchUp, to be cut by a laser cutter in pieces 
using the Slice Modeler plugin desinged by TIG from http://www.cad-addict.com . 



Step 1 — Slice Modeler SketchUp Plugin Directions 



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• Once you have constructed your 
desired object, choose the arrow 
tool in the top left and drag it over 
the entire model. Once releasing 
the arrow tool, the whole thing 
should be highlighted in blue. 



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Slice Modeler SketchUp Plugin Directions 



Step 2 



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• Once successfully highlighted, 
right click on the object and press 
"make group". A large blue box 
should appear around your design. 



Step 3 




• On the task bar at the top of your screen should be the word "Plugins". Plugins can be 
found between "Window" and "Help". 

• (If you do not see the Plugins option, it may be hidden from view or not acknowledged by 
the program. To fix this, click Window, then scroll to Preferences. A small window will 
appear like this: 

• Click Extensions. Providing you downloaded the Plugin correctly, it will show up among 
other Plugins as shown above. Click all the boxes that appear.) Then hit OK. 



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Slice Modeler SketchUp Plugin Directions 



Step 4 




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• In continuance, after clicking Plugins, Slice Modeler should appear to be an option. With 
your object still selected, click Slice Modeler. ( All credit goes to TIG from cad-addict.com 
for designing the plugin.) A window named "Slicing Parameters" will now show up like so: 

• Now, this is where there may be variables. The whole process contains a little bit of guess 
and check. To begin, I normally plug 1/8 for "Slice Spacing" and 1/8 for "Slice Thickness". 
Now, I begin with numbers so small simply because I am designing models for a MK5 HBP 
Cupcake. The platform for the machine is only 4' by 4'. If your object is larger and your 
application is different, then I'd suggest plugging in slightly larger numbers to begin with. 

• Under these two options is the "Slice Orientation". This all depends on your desired result 
and the design of the object. There are 3 options, X which slices horizontally, Y which 
slices vertically, and Z which slices in a somewhat undetermined fashion depending once 
again on your object. For these instructions and easiest presentation, I will pick X for my 
Slice Orientation. You may leave "Layer" at "Layer 0". It has no effect unless customized. 
Then color is the orientation of the object which may be left at default. 

• After finishing these parameters, click "OK". It will then ask you if you wish to add a 
number to each slice. Click yes to make it easy to keep track of all the cuts once made. It 
then gives you specifications: 

• Click leave Original Section hidden to only see the cuts themselves opposed to the cuts 
within the entire object. 

• The original menu will then appear once again. If you wish to slice the object two ways, 
then follow step 4 all the way through again. So if you only want the object cut one way, 
simply hit cancel. In this case, I'm only going to slice my model on the X axis. 



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Slice Modeler SketchUp Plugin Directions 



Step 5 



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• You are then left with your sliced model! If your model does not have full and complete 
walls, there may have been missing components in the original sketchup file as can be 
seen here: 

• If this is the scenario, then simply connect the lines to make full walls in order to have 
proper cuts. It is fairly obvious as to what lines are and are not connected. I fixed this 
issue and erected full walls ready to cut! 



Step 6 

• (Now that you have a full set of slices, the flights of ideas plugin found at flightsofideas.net 
should also be on your screen once downloaded and clicked in step 3. The plugin is an 
SVG extension which is an acronym for Scalable Vector Graphic. It takes the slices and 
exports them. The extension should be right on your screen next to the object as seen in 
the picture above. It is in the top left corner with green lettering saying "SVG" and a 
dragonfly next to it.) 



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Slice Modeler SketchUp Plugin Directions 



Step 7 



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Export Faces To SVG 



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• The object should still be grouped 
from Step 2, but if not, follow the 
step again. After grouped, click the 
Flights of Ideas extension. A 
window then pops up that says 
"Export Faces To SVG". 

• At the "Output File" bar, type in 
what you wish to save the object 
as. ***NOTE***- Ensure after 
naming the object you leave the file 
extension ".svg" at the end. This is 
important! 

• As for the rest of the Flights of 
Ideas settings, you may leave them 
be. Hit ok, and it will then 
acknowledge that the file has been 
exported. 



Step 8 




• Open up Gimp. Find your file, 
where it should have a ".svg" file 
extension if exported correctly as 
highlighted in blue, and open it up: 



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Slice Modeler SketchUp Plugin Directions 



Step 9 





• Here you should find all the slices of your object lined up and ready to be sent to the laser 
cutter! One last step though. You must click file, then save as. The name of your object 
will appear with the ".svg" file extension at the end of it. You must erase the ".svg" and put 
".jpeg" in its place instead. A jpeg is a picture file that the laser cutter will acknowledge and 
open up. 

• Hit save. Then another box appears. Click "Export" 

• Another window will then pop up that says "Save As JPEG". The first line down says 
quality. Simply type 100 into the box and hit save. 

• Your file should now open on your laser cut and has made a successful transfer from 
Sketchup through Gimp, and now into whatever program you use to run your laser! Happy 
cutting! 

This document was last generated on 2012-11-02 04:36:42 PM. 



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